Summer Fun Giveaway: a $25 Gift Card + 3 summer survival guides!

It's almost officially summer, and I'm excited to bring you guys a few giveaways to sweeten your days! :D For the first one, I'm giving you options and more than one prize to win! :D

The first prize is one $25 gift card to make your summer a little more fun. You get to choose from one of my three very favorite places to receive your gift card:

a. 

{I'd so buy real food cookbooks}


b. 
Target
{or cute clothes! or kids craft supplies}

or

c. Starbucks

{or an afternoon cold coffee so I can make it through the summer! ;)}

And to go with your summer fun, three more people will win one of my favorite ebooks- the Summer Survival Calendar from my newest sponsor, the Confident Mom:


I love this activity ebook- it's filled with fun things to do with your kiddos this summer {not to mention meal planning sheets and other organizing tools}, and it has a link for a frugal project to do as a family every day!

It was written by Susan, a mom like us! Here's what she says about it:
I scoured the Internet in search of budget-friendly, creative, and fun-filled activities that families can enjoy together and assembled them in The Confident Mom’s 2012 Summer Survival Calendar—I have done all the work for you, making your summer activities hassle-free!
The 2012 Summer Survival Calendar is a three-and-a-half-month calendar with over 100 activities to blast boredom and increase family time. It features at least one low-budget (and sometimes free) activity, craft project, or kid friendly recipe every day from May 15 to August 31. The calendar comes in a digital PDF download so you have it instantly, and most activities include a clickable link so you can easily view directions or supplies needed. The Summer Survival Calendar keeps kids busy, happy, and engaged during those long, hot summer days—and moms will find it to be a lifesaver when kids exhibit symptoms of the “boredom blues.”
You’ll find things like driveway baseball, ice cream in a bag, Sharpie-decorated shoes, geocaching, and watermelon shark salad to raising butterflies, pepperoni pizza cups, edible bingo, and sandpaper painted T-shirts.
I'm so excited to do some of these with my kids this summer! You can read more about it over here!

If you don't want to wait to win, you can use these special promotional codes to save on the regular purchase price!

BHM9 20% off the 2012 Summer Calendar {which sells for $9}
BHM14 20% off the 2012/2011/2010 Summer Calendar Bundle {which sells for $14}

{And if you buy one now and do win after all, Susan will refund your money on the ebook! :D Isn't that cool?}

So to enter, all you need to do is tell me this in a comment:

What was your favorite summer activity to do as kid? :)

Mine? Riding bikes down the country roads with my little brother Josh- we packed up and rode around together for miles and miles and it was always such an adventure! I'll never forget those days! :D

I'll choose four winners next Monday, June 25! The contest ends on Sunday night, June 24 at 11:59 CST, and thanks to digital delivery of gift cards and ebooks, is open to all countries! :D

I'm excited to hear your favorite summer memories!


149 comments

  1. My favorite thing to do during the summer was to volunteer at the local hospital with my best friend, and chase the ice cream truck in the evenings with my younger siblings!

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  2. What a fun giveAway!!! My favorite summertime activity was camping out in the backyard. My sisters and I would set up camp in the afternoon and look forward to nightfall where we would lie in our sleeping bags and look up at the glorious display of stars, falling asleep to the soft symphony of nighttime insects. ;)

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  3. My neighbor when I was growing up was the same age as me and my best friend. We had 5 acres of woods between the 2 of us so we loved running around in those woods, swinging on vines and climbing hills. I wish my kids had those same woods that I had growing up. I had so much fun there!

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  4. growing up in rural Iowa, my friends had an old corn crib that their parents turned into a playhouse. There was an old ice house that fell in that we turned into a swimming pool. I loved making our own fun the best.

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  5. We went to the drive-in every summer when I was a kid, and now we're carrying the tradition with our kids!

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  6. My favorite summer activity as a kid was to go on walks around dusk. So cool and relaxing.

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  7. Camping in Zion National Park. Hiking all of the wonderful trails and tubing down the river!!!

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  8. Spending weeks on the Outer Banks of North Carolina...bike riding, rolling down the sand dunes, playing at the beach, crabbing, eating ice-cream, and watching the Lost Colony play!!! Such sweet memories!!

    ~Jaime

    jaime alexis at mac dot com

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  9. My favorite summer activity was going with my parents down to where they would eventually build their retirement home. On the property was a stable where those who bought land could keep their horses, with the understanding that anyone in the community could ride them. While my dad would be clearing our lot, my sister and I would go horseback riding together.

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  10. Climbing trees! I'd pack snacks and books and climb up to a cozy spot for hours!

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  11. My brothers and I would ride our bikes to the pool every day during the summer! The lifeguards all knew us by name. We would get there as soon as they opened in the morning and spend the whole day hanging out and swimming!

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  12. I loved going to the lake with my family and waterskiing.

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  13. Favorite thing to do as a child in the summer has to be go to the local activity center. Very similar to the YMCA, we lived within walking distance of it, there was 3 pools out back, always some event, craft or field trip going on. I loved it! I wish there was something similar around here.

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  14. I remember the whole family sitting in the bed of my dad's truck during warm nights star gazing.

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  15. Going to the country club to swim.

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  16. I would lay a blanket under a tree in our yard and read my "Baby-sitters Club" books!

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  17. My favorite thing was going to my Gram's on the farm, catching lightning bugs and eating popsicles.

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  18. We played barbie's outside! Their home was a beautiful purple lilac bush on the side of our house, and to this day, lilacs bring me back to good times with my sister and my best friend (we're still best friends after 23 years!)

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  19. Spending two weeks at my Grandma and Grandpas house in Yakima WA. It was fun to play outside in the portable swimming pool, and put out mail for the mailman to take and turn the flag up on the mailbox. When my Grandpa had his garden that had grapes in it, it was fun to walk around in it. Also, we sat outside at night and just enjoyed the quiet, and it was fun for a little kid who lived in the big city.

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  20. Favorite summertime activity was always swimming - all day long!

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  21. Soccer camp was always my favorite!

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  22. Our favorite summer time activity was swimming! We swam for hours!

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  23. visiting cousins spending our days biking, swimming, and talking about life... ;)

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  24. I come from a very big family and when I was little we always spent time with our aunts, uncles and cousins. My favorite summer memories are when are family was all together and we had cooked out and hung out all day and it was getting dark and all of the cousins would be outside still playing. We had enough cousins to play Red Rover. I was one of the younger kids and loved my big cousins, they always made everything so much fun for the younger kids and always included us in all the games. I wish families still took the time to do things like this. We always ended the night catching lightning bugs.

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  25. Everything! Seriously, catching lightning bugs:-)

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  26. Probably riding bikes or rollerskating with my cousins.

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  27. I always enjoyed going to church camp after we did a pizza sale fundraiser to make enough money to go. We would order all the ingredients and then spend a day putting them all together to deliver them to our "customers". We would have a blast making new friends and catching up with old ones from previous years. We would have worship services and preaching. It was a wonderful way to get to know God and all of his wonderful miracles. Sadly, I don't think that they do it anymore at my old church. :( So much fun that the younger generation is missing out on.

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  28. Getting to make my own lunch! Once we started elementary school, mom would put a list of things on the refrigerator to choose from and we could pick whatever we wanted (of course, everything on the list was healthy stuff). It was so much fun to feel like I was in control. I even do this with my kids now (although we do it all year since we homeschool year-roud).

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  29. Biking up the road to my cousin's house and going for a swim with music in teh background. ...and fishing off the bridge up the road with my brothers!!!

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  30. I loved spending the entire summer in the pool! Man I miss those days. ;)

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  31. I LOVED, I mean seriously loved Vacation Bible School!! Marching in singing at the top of our lungs, "I'm so glad I came to bible school, came to bible school, came to bible school....."

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  32. I loved catching lighting bugs! During the school year I always had to be in bed before they would come out, but once summer rolled around it was me and my butterfly net out after dark, every night. I hope to recreate those memories with my kids one day. :)

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  33. My favorite summer activity was going to the neighborhood pool. It was right around the corner from our house, so we would walk down, spend a couple of hours there and then come home and eat. For some reason, we were always starving after being in the water! :)

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  34. The little water pools were always a favorite to me, not the huge inground pools, or the kind of pool that they have today, but the little pools you had to fill with water to make the sides stand up :)

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  35. I always loved going to the pool!

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  36. My favorite summer activity was eating freeze pops in our driveway with my neighbors after a long game of kick the can!

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  37. I loved long summer walks and playing in the park!

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  38. My favorite activity was swimming with my cousins and sister. Swimming with kids is not the same! lol

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  39. We lived by the river so definitely swimming or hiking along the the shore for miles!

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  40. I loved riding my bike to the park with my friends, then playing in the creek.

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  41. My favorite summer activity as a kid was our family picnics. Everyone from my Great-Granny to all my newest cousins would travel to a big park, run and play, somersaults, hoolihoop, softball, badminton, volleyball, foot race, and of course eat great food including homemade icecream hand-cranked right there at the park. Right now I can see my grandmother and her sisters resting on a blanket under a tree after working hard to give us a great day. Life was so good.

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  42. camping! still love it too...

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  43. Going to the water park near us!

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  44. I loved to catch lightening bugs at my mammaw's house after dark... with my sweet pappaw who chases them in heaven now....

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  45. I had a birthday on July 2nd, so as a kid I always believed the Fourth of July fireworks were just for me. Loved sitting on a blanket and watching them light up the sky.

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  46. Reading a book in the air conditioning :) not a fan of the heat

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  47. I always loved our camping trips at the beach...and collecting hermit crabs by the hundreds!

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  48. Going to the local swimming pool and swimming for hours and going to get ice cream cones afterwards!

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  49. Going boating with my bff and her family. Big boat, big lake. We slept on the boat for days on end.

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  50. I loved to play "pretend" with my little brother in our backyard treehouse... poor kid has been the prince in more Disney movies than he would ever want to admit. I think he's still scarred from when I declared him John Smith and tied him to a tree.

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  51. I loved to read...still do!

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  52. My favorite thing to do in the summer was going to the library and picking out books to read.

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  53. I lived on a farm, and when I wasn't working, I would love to ride my horse.

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  54. My family & I loved going on vacation to Vermont. We rented a house up there and it was "our" spot for the week. It was a huge house close enough to walk to a lake. I still miss Vermont!

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  55. Sorry. This is Mellissa Rose from http://mellissa-rose.blogspot.com. It didn't work when I signed in. fbc (at) inbox (dot) com.

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  56. I loved to spend all day out with my friends - riding bikes, hanging out under the trees in our neighborhood and going from one house to the next - great fun!!!

    sally.puckett@yahoo.com

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  57. We drove from MT to OK every summer to spend 2 weeks with our cousins...they had the BEST lake house!

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  58. We used to take a road trip every summer to see my grandparents that lived a day's drive away. The road trip always had books to read and games to play like Finding the ABC's on the bulletin boards and car tags.

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  59. There were big dirt piles from construction in the field behind our house and we (cousins) would make farms with our plastic animal figures. Also went swimming almost every day.

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  60. We loved bike rides and going to camp!

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  61. Swimming and laying in the sun!

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  62. Believe it or not...I loved to take a ride with my parents and siblings 1.5 hrs North of where we live and chop , stack and collect wood for our home fireplace. This is a fond memory I have as a young girl with my family because my parents later divorced, and that's really the only wonderful memory I have of us all.

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  63. My favorite activity as a child was going to the lake with my friends and family. Nothing better than playing games in the sun and flopping in the shade with a good book!!

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  64. I loved to spend my summer at my Granny in the countryside! Such a treat for a town child!
    zatkova at email dot cz

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  65. I loved getting to read only the books I was interested in. During the school year, I had to read what the school told me to. During the summer, the blue summer sky was the limit. I loved Anne of Green Gables and my hubby is taking me to Prince Edward Island to fulfill one of my summer dreams in a few weeks. Can't wait.

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  66. I loved to go to the pool and go on vacation.

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  67. I loved playing with the neighborhood kids "until the street lights came on" (as my mother would say). We would ride bikes, play baseball, jump on the trampoline, roller blade and play hockey in the cul-de-sac. It was great!

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  68. In the extremely hot and humid Maryland summers, my brother's and I loved swimming in our back yard above ground pool!

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  69. Swimming, still is my favorite thing to do in the summer :)

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  70. I was a bit of a tomboy so it was always football games in the streets that went well into the night :)

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  71. My favorite summer activity was definitely being in the pool all day, every day.

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  72. My favorite summer activity was camping in the backyard. I lived with my aunt and uncle for a little while as a young teenager. They lived outside of town with dirt roads. They set the tent up outside the back door. My cousins and I spent about a month sleeping outside in the tent. We did come in a few times when it rained heavily or when it was just too hot. We spent a lot of time outdoors and it was one of the best summers ever.

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  73. My favorite summer memory as a kid would have to be going on walks with my "girlfriends" and getting to stay out until the street lights came on. I lived in a very small town in South Dakota so there wasn't much to do around town, but we sure could spend hours talking and walking through the parks, up and down main street, and past the house where the cute brothers lived! But as soon as the street lights began to flicker, you'd go sprinting home so you could go to the pool the next day :)

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  74. Mine was also riding my bike with my sisters and brother...but no country road....only suburb sidewalks. :p Still fun!

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  75. Going to the lake with my best friend and her family.

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  76. Being from Texas, my FAVORITE summer activity was of course swimming in order to beat the heat! Especially at the lake. ;D

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  77. Picking plums from my grandparents plum tree in their backyard and playing with their dog Freckles. The entire family would be in that huge backyard, talking and playing together.

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  78. I spent hours and hours at the pool. I loved it! Actually I still do!

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  79. Going on hikes around and through the neighborhood. Always felt like big adventures!

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  80. I loved going to the library in the summertime. There was also stuff going on, AC, and I could read as many book as I wanted.

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  81. Swimming at the river. Great memories!

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  82. My favorite thing used to be to roller skate!

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  83. I loved to go to the pool :)

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  84. After dinner all the neighborhood kids would play hide and seek. The game would last until almost eight thirty cause it was still light enough to play. Also lawn darts but we played with my dad's screwdriver. Sooo bad but no one ever got hurt. Today ebay bans lawn darts for sale.

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  85. Go to Hawkins Beach, of course!

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  86. We had a big yard, part of it was fenced in with a swing set. I enjoyed the times my mom let my sister and myself go outside the fence with a picnic lunch to the shade of a big tree in our yard. Kool-aid in tall tupperware glasses with lids and lunchmeat sandwiches.
    The times we stayed inside the fence and played were just as fun and memorable. Making a fort out of the swing set and playing dress and putting on a play. Standing on top of two tree trunks and singing as loud as we could songs from the Partridge Family:)

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  87. I would have to say it was a tie between reading and riding my bike!
    I have the scarred knees to prove the bike part!

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  88. Go to grandmas. Stay up all night eating candy that we never got at home and having cokes in a bottle. Then running the neighborhood with all of the kids.

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  89. My favorite was days in the backyard with my bathing suit and our sprinklers trying to beat the heat. So fun!

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  90. My favorite summer activity was going to the lake for vacation :) So many great memories, camping, fishing, tubing and turning into prunes from being in the water all day!

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  91. there was an old fashioned root beer stand and we would go there and get root beer floats as a family. Loved it so much that we do root beer floats on the first day of summer (this wednesday!)

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  92. My favorite thing....was simple. Just riding bikes all day and catching fire flies at night. Then saying good night to the neighborhood children and finally, sliding into a cool, crisp bed

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  93. My favourite was always road trips and camping. Mom and dad would wake us up early (5am usually!) and pile us in the cars, still wrapped in our blankets. We would get hot chocolate and sleep for the first few hours. When we woke up, mom and dad would be quietly chatting in the front, some random music playing quietly. We did this so many times during my childhood!

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  94. My favorite thing was always our summer vacations, driving thousands of miles across the United States in our crowded mini-van to see our cousins and other relatives. Priceless memories!

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  95. Ride the wagon down the long lane and have races on our bikes.

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  96. I loved going to summer camp.

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  97. My favorite summer activity was playing in our backyard with my two brothers, Josh & Tim, and sister Kimi. Our yard went really far back and up a little hill with a fence that connected us to our neighbors small garage and yard. We would jump over his fence and up onto the garage racing around from one to the other! Such fun imaginations!!

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  98. My favorite summer activity was swimming and playing outside all day long

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  99. We didn't have a pool . My mom always filled up old metal tubs with the hose and we would sit in there and play for hours.

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  100. I ran thru the sprinklers and also loved when my mom would build a house/tent out of sheets on the clothesline. I'd bring my dolls in and read or draw.

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  101. My absolute favorite summer childhood memory is becoming a fish! My siblings and I would LIVE in the pool to escape the HOT Texas heat. No big pool mind you. My dad was a teacher and my mom stayed home to take care of us. This was a second hand above ground cheap pool, but we got a million dollars worth of fun from it. LOVE those memories!

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  102. For sure it was swimming. I'd swim everyday, all day long!

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  103. My sister and some friends of ours would put on talent shows in the yard. We loved singing and dancing to our favorite songs! I can't say we were any good but it was still fun.

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  104. The zoo! My mom would pack us all up (my sisters and me) and take us out for the day just about once a week. We'd spend the whole day purusing the exhibits, picnicing for lunch - the works! To this day, abou 15 years later, I still get the hankering to do some zoo when the weather starts warming up. Unfortunately, we don't have a zoo close to where I live now, but there are a few in a bout an hour 1/2 radius and I can't wait to take my little guy when he gets old enough to enjoy it :)

    Love the blog! Are yous still doing Laundry Devotionals? Love'm.

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  105. My favorite memory is swimming at my uncle's pool with my sister and our two cousins who were almost the exact same age as us! We would swim, hike in the woods, play in the barns with the animals, swim some more!! Ahhhh, just to experience one of those days again! Us girls had the best of times!!

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  106. My favorite summer acitivity would be going camping with my grandparents while they were park host!! fishing with them and swimming and riding bikes all over campsite!!!

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  107. It would have to be camping with the family and all the simplicity that goes along with it!

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  108. Loved playing in the creek by our house....awesome memories!

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  109. My favorite thing to do as a child was going to Vacation Bible School at the little country church my aunt played piano at, we would always end every day taking a nap after lunch, then swimming at her in-laws in-ground pool, eating watermelon and playing games. Priceless memories that I will forever cherish!

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  110. My favorite summertime activities were riding my bike or sitting outside on the swing reading a book :)

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  111. My favorite memories were going to different summer camps with my brother and traveling with my family!

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  112. My favorite thing was family vacations! I have such great memories of the fun things we did as a family!

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  113. Playing in our woods was always the highlight of our summer! We pretended everything from 'Indians' to lost children and a whole host of other silly things :)

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  114. I loved summer hikes as a kid. We would pack a picnic lunch and hit the woods!

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  115. We always played ball (football, baseball,kickball etc) with the neighborhood kids. There were all boys except my sister and I. I remember always having to be the pitcher/QB. I had perfected my pitch to strike out every boy in the neighborhood!

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  116. I loved to catch lightning bugs and play hide in seek and dusk with my sister and whatever other kids happened to be around!

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  117. Thanks for chance to win!!
    BBQ with neighbors and churning homemade ice cream after playing all day!

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  118. Going to the lake house with my family every summer!! I had such an awesome time that up until recently I thought we stayed there for 2 weeks but it was really only one! I just remember how fun it was and not how long we stayed :)

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  119. We had a bike path in our back yard...I loved riding my bike on our pretend streets! :)

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  120. play outside! everything from bikes to pretending we were on the Oregon trail!

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  121. I loved to do anything outside when I was growing up - riding bikes, playing in the woods, lots of pretend play outside.

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  122. We lived in the country so for me it was going to visit my aunt and uncle in 'the big city' for a week.

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  123. I loved swimming, playing nintendo, the rush to get chores done before mom came home from work, lol. It was fun to have the freedom to set your own schedule.

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  124. One of my favorites was going with my mom and sisters to Sam's Club to pick out fun foods to eat for lunch (since we'd be home and not at school, we had more options!!). Another favorite was going with my dad to papa's farm. We'd roam around and hide in the corn (but not too far in!) while they checked on how the corn was growing.

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  125. My grandparents lived down the road from us and they had a swimming pool. That was my favorite place to go as a child. I loved swimming in the pool.

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  126. I loved summer camp. The new friends made, the old friends to catch up with, and all the fun activities and field trips every week.

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  127. Hmmmm! I honestly can't remember my favorite summer activity. Probably trips to AL to visit my grandparents and extended family.

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  128. i distinctly remember the summer library reading program and how at the end you got to pick a new book.

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  129. By far, my favorite thing to do during the summer was to go swimming. We had a pool in our back yard and it was used every day, multiple times a day. Loved it and miss that!

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  130. My mom, my sister and I would spend all afternoon in the pool and have frosties made in those old frosty mugs that went in the freezer. We would make them with Pepsi or some flavor of Shasta. Remember Shasta, I would check to see if they still make them but I am sure the amount of sugary calories in them would shock me now! ;0

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  131. Vacationing. My family didn't have a lot of money, so I remember the strange places we would stay (cheap and unique for sure!). I loved it!

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  132. We used to put on plays with the neighborhood kids complete with costumes usually made out of paper grocery bags.

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  133. My favorite summer activity to do as a kid was camping with my family. We went to the same campground everyyear. There was a train that ran right through the middle of camp so everynight all us kids would line our pennies on the track, let it run through, and then go pick up our new smashed pennies. :)

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  134. My favorite thing to do in the summer time was to ride my horse, Cassidy. He was a big beautiful chestnut horse that was my best friend, and my counselor when I was a teenager going threw life. I loved taking him for a ride around sunset when my horses coat looked like it was set a blaze by the setting summer sun. I loved the way the light seemed to make every thing glow and how the cooler air felt. I relished being atop my buddys back as we galloped threw sage brush or lazily wondered the paths near my home. I would make up songs to sing to him, usually silly little ditties about my sweet horse, or I would pour out my heart and all my problems to him as he would kindly and patiently listen to every word.
    My good buddy is gone now but I always will cherish the time we had together and not a summer evening goes by I don't recall the freedom my horse brought me and the bond we shared.

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  135. So many...riding my bike, reading, playing with my Barbies.

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  136. I loved to take my barbies on 'camping trips' underneath the bushes in our front yard. My mom let me dig a hole for a big tupperware bowl, which I filled with water (and a couple rocks in the bottom) to make a 'swimming hole' for them.

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  137. I grew up on a farm - so my favorite summer activity was riding my bike on the farm paths and then later riding my bike into town to play with my best friend and getting a cherry coke at the little store. Good memories :)

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  138. My favorite is actually a memory as much as an activity: being out in the country in the morning when the dew was still glistening on the grass, seeing the insects wake up and birds scare up breakfast, and the way everything is hushed in the morning.

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  139. My favorite summer activity was going fishing with my parents, brother, and two dogs!

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  140. My favorite summer time activity was catching fireflies in the backyard with my brother and friends in the neighborhood.

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  141. Swimming, roller skating and movies ;-) Ordering pizza with my cousins and my grandmother

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  142. Riding my bike, swimming at the community pool, and sleeping in!

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  143. My mom used to lock us out of the house for at least two hours of every (non-rainy) day so that we would learn to explore the world around us without the conveniences of modern technology. My brother and I must have dug "to the other side of the world" with our shovels at least 300 times when we were young

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  144. My BFF lived down the road. We HAD to pick & water the giant veggie garden before we could play. So, we would work so hard in the AM so we could goof-off, play in the sprinkler, etc.....in the afternoon!

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